Force Flyers R/C Controlled Helicopter Review
A remote control helicopter. A toy for children and grown ups to enjoy. That's the idea at any rate. The reality doesn't quite match up. We've been given a few remote control helicopters over the years, and I have learned to be wary. Most of the time they don't survive their maiden flight. Or if they do, they're so tricky to use, and so delicate, that the effort of getting them out of the box means they are hardly ever played with.
And yet. I was filled with joy to get Force Flyers Falcon motion controlled helicopter* to test. Maybe this would be the one, the helicopter that would live up to my dreams? Could this be a Christmas gift that won't disappoint on Christmas day?
The unique 'selling point' of the Falcon Helicopter (£34.99) is that it is controlled by waving your hand about, a bit like using a Wii controller. You have a small half glove sort of thing that goes on your hand. A stick that you hold in your hand controls thrust, while moving your hand around moves the helicopter.
Now if your child is like my son that's going to be a sure fire winner. There's nothing more he likes than pretending to control things with his hand Jedi-style.
Before any sort of electronic present gets opened on Christmas day in our house, the box has already been opened, the item removed and the toy or gadget tested to make sure it works. After one early, traumatising experience with our eldest we have never, ever, made that mistake again. There is nothing worse than having a hideously complicated toy to try and figure out as you sit bleary eyed desperate for coffee. With the child bouncing over excitedly on you asking if you are done yet. And then after all that, finding out it doesn't work or you need specialist batteries that are only found on a lonely industrial estate in the middle of Croydon that has never been mapped on any known GPS system.
So, armed with my 11 year old godson, and watching the video on how to use the helicopter on You Tube, we set about getting it sorted.
My first thought looking at it out of the box was that this helicopter is just far too fragile. This little thing does not look like it will survive too many bounces off the ceiling. Which is kind of where it tended to end up.
Now, either we had a dud model or were really rubbish, but neither myself, my husband, nor my god son could get it to do much more than just move a little bit very gently. It is possible that the helicopter needs a bit of practice. In which case, I would say that this is definitely best for patient children. I'm also doubting its suitability for an 8 year old. There's no age on the box.
The good news is that it comes with a Li-poly rechargeable battery, and it will charge off a USB port. It takes up to 25 to 25 minutes to charge, and for that you get 6 to 10 minutes of flying time. I think we managed about 10 minutes. This was a bit disappointing to be honest. That's not a long time to get to play with a toy, so I definitely would not buy one of these to share amongst children.
Overall, it wasn't as exciting as I'd have liked. The helicopter was certainly easier to control than the last one he was given for his birthday. But we weren't able to do any of the fancy moves shown on the box - lasso, dance or swirl. Maybe you can if you are more co-ordinated than us, or more used to remote control helicopters!
Pros: It flies! You move it with your hand! It is definitely the most fun R/C helicopter I have tried.
Cons: still looks a bit fragile, battery life is not very long. Would try this out before the big day if a present as the blades flop about in the box and I would be worried about damage.
Overall verdict: 6 / 10 which is actually quite good for these types of toys